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A day in Alcalá de Henares
Located just thirty minutes northeast of Madrid by train, Alcalá de Henares is famous for its illustrious son, Miguel de Cervantes, as well as its World Heritage medieval city center and its significance to Spanish history. The city’s wealth derived from its central position as the Catholic Kings’ stopover when heading south and it is said that some of Columbus’ meetings over the expeditions to the Americas were held there. The stunning university, La Universidad de Alcalá, and cathedral, Catedral Magistral de Alcalá de Henares, are just some of the city’s many prides. A day in this charming yet magnificent town would not be complete without a visit to the Moorish, Christian and Jewish ghettos, the Cervantes square and the writer’s birthplace, and the archbishop palace. Skip the recently discovered archaeological site with ruins from the Roman Empire, unless this subject is of particular interest to you. Plan to arrive early to make most of your day strolling around Alcalá de Henares’ cobblestone streets and admiring its historical buildings. Please note there are dozens of cities in Spain called Alcalá (Arabic name derived from the Moors), so make sure you search for the full name, adding “de Henares”, when looking for information.